Archive for June, 2011

Family Photos

Frank & Molly McCallum London early 1950s

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By the Numbers – Potential Living Relatives

Living descendants of Frank and his alleged brother, allegedly named John, would number approximately 100, of which the John side might account for about 50. The probability of them having their DNA analyzed by now is probably statistically higher than the population as a whole assuming that they are as curious about their ancestry as some of us are. That probability will increase exponentially as the population as a whole has their DNA analyzed for the health benefits. I haven’t seen any projections, but at the current rate of growth and laboratory discoveries concerning both analysis and targeted gene treatment of illnesses, I wouldn’t be surprised if in 10 years 50% of the population has had their DNA analyzed.

If we look to living descendants of Frank’s grandparents, on both his father’s and mother’s side, then the living relatives could number about 2,500. Some of these would be 5th and 6th cousins. In the DNA research to date, 6th, 5th, 4th and even a couple of 3rd cousin potential relatives have shown up but are yet to be confirmed.

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Frank May Have Been Born on A ship Bound for America

Given that we now know that our ancestors were possibly Phoenician, it seems fitting that Frank is likely to have been born at sea while his family was on the way to America around 1890.

Recently, sister Merle discovered correspondence to her from our father, Jim, in which he mentions that belief. Prior to David’s DNA bomb I was looking at the Ellis Island ships’ passenger manifests and immigration records. As time permits, one of us should go on line and dig through them again, broadening the years and also looking beyond New York to include Boston.

If a McCallum passenger family had a ship board birth, that would be ideal. However, if there was a ship board birth and there was also a McCallum family on the same ship, then that would also be a lead. I recall that there may have been one such combination.

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Explanation of Range of Genetic Analysis for Genealogical Purposes

The site ( provides a helpful explanation of the range of genetic analysis used for genealogical purposes. Although it could be briefer, it is in reasonably plain English for the layman.

What I would love to find is a table of dilution by generation for the various factors such as SNPs, STRs, genetic distance (CMs), gene segments etc.

Some of the services including 23andMe and GEDmatch provide data and conclusions but then allow you to infer how they used the one to get the other. As a rule of thumb, it appears that the dilution factor is a ratio of 3:1 for each succeeding generation. You have half your father’s DNA and your child will have 1/4 of your father’s DNA. Also, you have 1/4 of your grandfather’s DNA, as does your cousin, but your cousin will not necessarily inherit the same DNA from your grandfather that you did. However, if you and your cousin are both male and are the children of brothers, then you will both have the same Y-chromosome as do your father, uncle and your grandfather.

The calculation of daughters and X-chromosome and mitochondrial DNA is a different calculus altogether.

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